This morning, I heard some alarming and troubling statistics; 16% of the baby boomer generation says they are ready for retirement and 43% say they have less than $10K saved for retirement. The recession has delayed the retirement plans of the average baby boomer by about 9 years. Two thirds of all health care costs are incurred after the age of 60 and health care costs/insurance is the #1 source of financial concern to retirees, despite medicare and medicaid.
Don’t worry – I am not getting into the health care debate here. Instead, I am putting on my Talent Management hat and asking, What is the impact of this to the workforce and workplace? We already have a good sense of how the workplace is evolving to more virtual and transient models almost entirely enabled by some form of technology. Studies have shown higher levels of discomfort by baby boomers with technology than younger generations for obvious reasons… the younger generations grew up with technology (Digitial Natives) as opposed the Digital Immigrants that the baby boomers are. The baby boomers also come with significantly higher overhead than youger employees and couple that with the desire of baby boomers to not want to work full-time …. all leads to following plausible conclusions:
- Baby boomers need to invest in learning technology-enabled job-functions
- Baby boomers and employers need to figure out part-time and contract-based employement models
- Employers need to figure out organizational and operational models that allow some or most of their employees to be part-time, virtual, and task (project) based
All this requires human resource professionals and consultants to immediately begin exploring responses to these conclusions that best fit their business needs. It is worth noting that the by-product of all this, in the content of professional development, is more virtual and collaborative models – not the traditional classroom-style models.